The Happy Lawyer

Law professors Nancy Levit and Douglas Linder have just published a valuable guide for lawyers of any age.  Before you read on, I invite you to take a most interesting little quiz (derived from the findings in this book) which appeared in the ABA Journal.  How important is money to lawyers’ happiness?    Do the most satisfied lawyers come from the “top tier” law school?  (Speaking of which, check out the recent New York Times story about the competition among law schools to get those coveted -and misleading-U.S News ratings.)  Lawyers’ ability to be happy is challenged on many fronts.  The assaults on well-being by the competitive law school environment;  lawyers’ natural penchant for pessimistic thinking as described by Martin Seliman, Ph.D, the “Father of Positive Psychology”; the demands on a person’s time that are driven by the need to earn the funds to cover a six-figure student loan and the general lack of civility in legal culture and some of the most notable examples.  Keeping a handle on personal relationships is so critical for personal well-being – as is the commitment not to lose connection with one’s own particular life passions.  Achieving balance between professional and personal needs is ranked by lawyers of the millennial generation as their highest value. Levit and Linder provide a wonderful array of tips and wisdom for high achieving lawyers who feel their lives slipping through their fingers.